It will be next Monday before the Mayo County Council budget for 2020 is decided on.
Councillors met for their annual budget meeting this morning but decided to adjourn the meeting at lunchtime until next Monday afternoon
Proposed cuts to General Municipal Allocation (GMA) funding, a proposed three per cent rates hike and councillors decision to reject an increase in the Local Property Tax (LPT) have complicated budget decisions.
Fianna Fáil whip, Cllr Damien Ryan, proposed adjourning the meeting following departmental presentations, to next Monday at 3pm in order to allow councillors more time to reach a budget decision. His proposal was backed in the council chamber but Fine Gael councillor Gerry Coyle said he would have preferred to have seen a budget worked out today. “I came 50 miles here today to try and resolve something,” said the Erris councillor.
Chief Executive of Mayo County Council, Peter Hynes outlined the financial challenges faced by the local authority. Mayo County Council has a €4.53 million deficit to try and address and is coming under ‘huge pressure’ to provide matched funding for major capital projects.
Mr Hynes said the budget for 2020 is €147.49 million but the council only has the discretion to play with €28 million of this amount.
The CEO said he understands the concerns over the proposal to slash GMA funding by 50 per cent across all four Municipal Districts.
“In an ideal scenario we would like to increase the GMA,” said Mr Hynes.